Board of Trustees
Meet our Board of Trustees for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew who are responsible for agreeing the strategy of the organisation through the corporate plan and the budgets.
Dame Amelia Fawcett (Chair)
Dame Amelia Fawcett is Chair of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
She has over 30 years of experience in the banking industry and has been Chair of Kinnevik AB since 2018, Chair of the Standards Board for Alternative Investments since 2011 and is the Lead Independent Director for State Street Corporation (having been a Non Executive Director since 2006). She also joined the Wellcome Trust as a Member of the Board of Governors in 2019. She is owner of Chilcott & Company Ltd, a lavender farm which she founded in Wales in 2014. She has been Chairman of the Prince of Wales Foundation (US) since 2017.
Nick is currently Group Corporate Affairs Director of Centrica plc. Before this, he had a long and varied career in Government. His roles included CEO of UK Trade and Investment, Director General in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office leading its work on Europe, the global economy and consular issues and the British Ambassador to Turkey from 2006 to 2009. Earlier in his career, Nick was Director for Immigration Policy in the Home Office, and held posts in the UK and overseas on European Union issues and the Middle East. He was a member of the Board of the FCO from 2009-2013, and of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills from 2011-2013. He is a non-executive Director of Nordanglia Education Inc, a member of the Advisory Council of the Sheffield University School of Management, and was on the Cole Commission which provided advice on exports to the Labour Party.
Professor Liam Dolan
Professor Liam Dolan is from Dublin and graduated with a degree in Botany at University College Dublin. He carried out PhD research on plant developmental genetics at the University of Pennsylvania. He then spent 3 years as a post-doctoral researcher at the John Innes Centre, Norwich before becoming an independent project leader. After 13 years running his own group in Norwich, Liam moved to the University of Oxford as the Sherardian Professor of Botany in 2009 and is now Head of the Department of Plant Sciences. Liam was awarded the President's Medal of the Society of Experimental Biology in 2001, was elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) in 2009 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014.
A qualified Chartered Accountant, Catherine worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers from 1988 to 2002, latterly as an audit partner based in Johannesburg. Since 2004 she has pursued a non-executive career. Catherine is currently a Trustee of WWF UK, a Board Member of Natural England and a Non Executive Director at Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. Her previous roles have included Chair of Victim Support, non executive director of North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust and a trustee and Vice-chair of Action for Children.
Sarah is Chair of Riverford Organic and travel company Sawday’s. She is a Non-Executive Director at Inspired Energy plc, the Institute of Physics Publishing and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. She has been a Trustee at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew since 2016 and joined the Kew Foundation Council in September 2020. Alongside her non-executive roles, Sarah is a Consultant Board Advisor on strategy, leadership and digital transformation.
After 20 years with British Airways, Valerie Gooding was for 10 years the Chief Executive of Bupa. She is currently Chairman of Premier Farnell, a Trustee of the Historic Royal Palaces and a non-executive Director of Vodafone and Tui Travel. At various times, she has been on the Boards of Sainsbury’s, Standard Chartered and BAA as well as the BBC, the British Museum and the Lawn Tennis Association.
Krishnan Guru-Murthy presents “Channel 4 News” and “Unreported World” , the foreign affairs documentary series. Before that he was at the BBC on news, entertainment, youth and children’s programming. He has spent thirty years reporting and presenting from around Britain and the world. Krishnan is also patron of the charity Duchenne UK, which raises money for medical research. He lives in Kew with his wife Lisa and their two children.
Professor Sue Hartley
Professor Sue Hartley studied biochemistry at the University of Oxford before moving to the University of York for her PhD on plant defences against insect herbivores and then the University of Sussex where her research included projects on the factors maintaining the extraordinary biodiversity of tropical forests and the impact of climate change on plant resistance to herbivores. In 2009 she delivered the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, becoming only the fourth woman to do since they began in 1825. In 2010 she moved back to the University of York to become Director of the York Environmental Sustainability Institute, a new interdisciplinary research centre bringing together leading environmental researchers from a broad range of disciplines to tackle the key challenges facing humankind. Sue served as President of the British Ecological Society from 2015-2017 and in 2018 she was appointed to the Board of Natural England.
Ian Karet read Chemistry at Oxford before qualifying as solicitor. He is a partner at Linklaters where he specialises in intellectual property and technology. He has served on the board of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property and writes and speaks on intellectual property issues. Ian is also a Trustee of The Foundation and Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Charity Commissioner.
Jantiene Klein Roseboom van der Veer
Jantiene has a portfolio career consisting of executive and non-executive directorships in the private, public and third sector. She has degrees in business administration and landscape architecture and is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and London Business School. She has held senior executive positions with global responsibilities for marketing, corporate strategy, M&A, finance and capital markets in major companies, and was a partner of a leading capital markets advisory firm. She has served on the boards of a number of professional associations. She is MD of a landscape architectural practice which has a strong focus on the interdisciplinary fields of heritage, conservation and habitat restoration. In addition to Kew, her current non-executive appointments include Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Henri Moerel Foundation, member of the Board of Trustees of the Yehudi Menuhin Competition Trust and Trustee of Bury Court Opera, reflecting her interests in safeguarding nature and humanity’s future through science-driven global action, the arts and music, education, and empowering a younger generation. Jantiene is the first ever international Trustee of Kew and sits on the Corporate Strategy Committee, Science Advisory Committee, and Audit and Risk Committee.
Michael Lear is co-Director of Landscape Architects and Heritage Consultants Lear Associates Ltd, a Trustee of Marks Hall and an Associate Member of the National Trust’s Historic Environment Panel. He has wide experience of parks, gardens and plant collections in Britain and Ireland and was involved in the recovery of NT gardens from the 1987 and 1990 storms. He was visiting Professor to the University of Genoa and, in collaboration with many organisations, he produced the first global list of Threatened Temperate Trees in 1995. In 2008, he discovered a forest of Handkerchief Trees, previously unknown to the Chinese authorities, near the Yunnan/Burma border. His portfolio includes many cultural landscapes, for instance, Salisbury Cathedral, various Oxford Colleges and masterplans, restorations, new design, land-art and community projects such as the Peace Maze.
Sir Derek Myers
Derek stepped down from a senior career in local government at the end of December 2013. He has most recently been Chief Executive of both the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Both authorities are regarded as amongst the best performing in local government. Derek has previously served on the Board of the Department of Health and chaired the UK professional body of his peers (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives & Senior Managers). He has recently been appointed to the Advisory Board of Public Health England and chairs its Audit Committee. He is married with two children; has lived in Chiswick, near Kew Gardens, for the last 20 years, and is a longstanding Friend of Kew.
New trustee posts
To complement its existing skills and knowledge, the Board of Trustees is seeking up to four new members with demonstrable experience in either:
- A scientific field relevant to RBG Kew's work
- Government or public sector
- Commercial & marketing.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is an executive non-departmental public body created under the National Heritage Act 1983 and sponsored by Defra. RBG Kew operates under a Board of Trustees and came into existence on 8 August 1983. From 1 April 1984 responsibility for many aspects of the organisation was transferred from the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (now Defra) to the Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, comprises a chair and 11 members. Ten members and the chair are appointed by the Secretary of State. Her Majesty the Queen appoints her own trustee on the recommendation of the Secretary of State.
Trustees do not receive any direct remuneration for their services, although reasonable travel and subsistence expenses can be reimbursed.